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Lightning Bolts & Non-Performative

Editor's Note written by our Editor-in-Chief, Michelle Ireland

I had a [figurative] lighting bolt shoot through me recently. Of course it happened whilst showering, so I had to jump out, half-washed, quickly dry myself enough to grab the phone, and promptly began messaging myself and voice noting to get it all down. It rushed through me in moments, and then it was gone. I know you know the feeling.

And the thing I have learned about myself through the 15 years in business for myself is that when this happens I need to let it flow through me and then I need to sit on it. For years and years these lightning bolts would come and I would immediately take action. Action that was so fevered it would eventually burn me out. It also meant that I was taking action on EVERYTHING - even things that really should have gone to the wayside.

So, the years have taught me, and my recent Human Design exploration as a Manifestor has solidified the need for the pause and the patience. And so I did just that. I sat on it.

But when I woke today the remains of the lightning bolt felt like a pull, just like SOULACY did a year ago and WAVEPOOL does more recently. And this is the sign for me that I need to move ahead with it.

And fortunately, it isn’t anything new that I need to create, so whew… ;)

It’s just a phrase, a combination of words that perfectly encapsulates what we’ve been creating together here at SOULACY this past year and what we’re building together inside WAVEPOOL.

The lightning bolt phrase: Non-Performative Entrepreneurship

In my rush to get this phrase down I messaged it to my dear friend with it and then promptly went to sleep. I awoke to this message: “I don’t even know what this is, but I’m liking the sound of it. Have just tried to Google it but not getting anything to make me any wiser.” Ooops… It’s a bit of a running joke that as soon as it’s in my head it feels [to me] like it exists everywhere already.

So let me explain what I mean by non-performative entrepreneurship.

Please keep in mind this is still forming in my mind, but this is where I’m at with it right now:

Non-Performative Entrepreneurship (verb)

  1. Conducting business in a way that fully matches your values, mission, purpose, and intent regardless of external expectations or parameters;

  2. Not having to put on a façade to appease others when conducting business or communicating your personal or professional journey;

  3. Openly and authentically sharing your experience and perspective without the need to withhold aspects of it in order to maintain a specific appearance, status quo, or identity

To further help explain, here are some examples of performative entrepreneurship that we all see or experience all the time:

You know when you go online and you write about yourself or your business or your experience as an entrepreneur and there’s that moment where you hesitate and look back through what you’ve written and shared and do a quick check to make sure that you’ll be perceived or heard in a way that fits what you’re trying to convey and doesn’t open you up to too much judgement or doesn’t go too far across the line of expected and normal?

You know when you go into those Facebook groups or see the group posts in your feed with people sharing bits and pieces of what’s happening in their world but it feels a bit coloured, inauthentic, or, dare I say, a bit performative - never really setting the full scene, never sharing too much for fear of the above? Example: “#sharingmywin I just made £800 million in 37 seconds and I’m so happy.” Instead of: “#sharingmywin I just made £800 million in 37 seconds and I feel like I’m going to vomit and crawl out of my skin.” The former is performative, the latter is the real shizz.

You know those times when you show up on the socials because we’ve been conditioned to believe that we have to appease the algorithm gods, so we post things and say things and do things that perhaps don’t feel entirely natural or true to you - or you see others doing it and it just feels so fake or put on (like a performance)?

You know when there’s a special day or month where you’re supposed to announce to the world that you support x, y, z and you do it because you do support x, y, z but more because you feel like if you don’t make the announcement people will think you’re against it? The non-performative approach would be to show that you support x, y, z in everything that you do and let your actions speak louder than any performative post ever could.

We’ve all fallen prey to this arbitrary world of performative entrepreneurship. Showing up, saying things, doing things, creating things, announcing things, making post after post of just ugh… stuff, simply because we think we have to or were told that is what we need to do.

When deep in our bones we only want to show up in a way that feels like freedom and a deep breath of fresh air.

That is non-performative entrepreneurship.

And it’s everything we’re about here at SOULACY. For the past year we’ve shared over 200 articles that all illustrate or allude to doing business in a more authentic way, in a way that doesn’t fall in line with the traditional way many of us have learned to be an entrepreneur and doesn’t follow the expectations of the patriarchy.

And it’s the exact environment that we’re building inside WAVEPOOL.

WAVEPOOL is 100% non-performative entrepreneurship.

The WAVEPOOL community is real. WAVEPOOL is deep. WAVEPOOL is honest and raw and vulnerable. Because it can be. Because we’ve created a space that feels safe to be so.

As we’ve seen this past year, people want deeper than surface-level connections. People want a community that they can rely on. People want to be seen and heard. People want to share what’s really going on in a safe space that honours them. People want more than what they’re getting in current online groups and programmes. Because, like Glennon Doyle says, ‘Isn’t it supposed to be more beautiful than this?’

And yes it is. With non-performative entrepreneurship, it can be. Because we can all just be - as we are - with one another.

Join us inside WAVEPOOL and experience the freedom and bliss and support and community that you can have when everyone drops the performance expectations and gets real.

P.S. This has been a lightning bolt for me in more than just the phrase that encapsulates SOULACY and WAVEPOOL. It’s been a personal wake-up call for me to look at where I’m performing in my life and business. I’ve pinpointed a few areas that I’m going to work on. If you’re up for it, you too could have a look and see if there’s anywhere you’re putting on layers or armour or hiding bits of yourself.



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